All Sorts of Weird Stuff offers news and information about George R.R. Martin, in particular about his A Song of Ice and Fire series.
"When I was young, I read all sorts of stuff. One week it would be Lovecraft, the next Vance. It was all imaginative literature, or as my dad called it 'Weird Stuff.' It was all 'Weird Stuff.'"
George R.R. Martin
New to the series? Read our spoiler-free review of A Game of Thrones.
Over at “Not a Blog”, GRRM has been making recommendations for this year’s Hugo Awards—the oldest and most well-known award for science fiction and fantasy—in various categories. His own work, A Dance with Dragons, is eligible for the Best Novel category, and of course Game of Thrones is eligible in the Dramatic Presentation, Short Form category… but, intriguingly, it’s also eligible for the Dramatic Presentation, Long Form category. There’s some interesting discussion on that topic in comments.
The take out? I’d say fans of the show who nominate should all nominate it in the Long Form category, and maybe not vote for it at all in Short Form (a category which will, with 99.99% certainty, be won by the Doctor Who episode “The Doctor’s Wife”, written by Neil Gaiman) so that the administrators have an easy choice to make as to category. It worked back in 2008 when fans nominated Heroes in Long Form and almost no votes were thrown in for Short Form. That’s what we intend to do, in any case, having gotten a supporting membership of our own.
All members of last year’s Worldcon, and current members of this year’s Worldcon at Chicon in Chicago provided they get their membership—any membership, even the $50 Supporting membership, which has a number of perks such as receiving e-books of all the finalist novels - on or before January 31st), can nominate. And you should do. And if you can actually attend the event, even better—five days of SF/F/H goodness, academic tracks and film tracks, parties and meeting many of the luminaries of the genre past, present, and future, parties, art dealers and memorabilia and books upon books, parties…
Did I mention the parties? The Brotherhood without Banner will be making a strong showing, and their parties are famous. And of course, George will be there, and as he always says, a con’s the absolute best setting to see him, not just at signings and readings, but also on panels and, yes, in the party rooms.
Over at his “Not a Blog”, GRRM has posted details of a book sale he’s holding through to the Super Bowl, in honor of his beloved New York Giants making an appearance there.
And to quote instructions:
To get the discount, all you have to do is write GO GIANTS when you send your order.
As always, GRRM’s happy to personalize inscriptions on books sold through his official website. (At a guess, that GO GIANTS requirement may make this a non-starter for Pats fans…)
Thanks to Indigo Books, we’ve learned that George R.R. Martin will be speaking and signing books at the Indigo store at 55 Bloor Street West, at 7 PM on March 13th. Great opportunity for Canadian fans to meet GRRM. This appearance hasn’t apparently made it onto his Appearances page just yet, so it must have been recently finalized.
And we’ll just mention that his official page is a great way to see where he’ll be in coming months. Trips planned for this year include London in April for Eastercon, as well as such varied places as Portugal, Montana, Seattle, and Spain.
Subterranean Press has just announced that they’ll be producing a limited edition of George R.R. Martin’s first novel, Dying of the Light. A science fiction novel written at a time when Martin had made waves as one of the foremost short fiction writers in the genre, Dying of the Light is a personal favorite, in large part because of the evocative writing and the setting, the dying festival planet of Worlorn which is soon going to see its “dying of the light”. Fans of A Song of Ice and Fire may spot some characters or themes that are precursors to Martin’s bestselling fantasy series.
BenBella Books will be publishing Beyond the Wall: Exploring George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire in June of this year, as part of their Smart Pop series. Edited by James Lowder, the anthology collects critical essays from a number of writers that examine the novels from various perspectives. We’ve seen a partial list of topics, and there promises to be some very interesting material in there.
The full list of contributors or topics can’t be shared yet, but we can name a couple, at least: us.
About a week and a half ago, we saw a tweet from someone who worked at the same building in which Audible.com is housed who noted that they had gone downstairs to the cafeteria and found George R.R. Martin holding forth. We had figured it was something to do with the A Feast for Crows audio book being re-released with Roy Dotrice reading it, but had assumed it’d be something included in that.
In fact, Audible’s released it straight to Youtube, and we’ve embedded it below. As well, we’ve linked it over at the So Spake Martin section of the Citadel, which collects interviews, correspondence, and more from GRRM.
We’ve previously reported on the benefit auction for writer Terri Windling, with contributions of rare and signed items from various authors, artists, and more, including George R.R. Martin. Some more GRRM-related material has come in—including an original piece of art from the Subterranean Press limited edition of A Feast for Crows, drawn and donated by artist Thomas Canty (one of our very favorite artists, BTW!) so we’d thought we’d provide links to all the relevant items to make it easy to find:
There are many, many other things in there, from prints from Alan Lee to signed books by Neil Gaiman, and much more. All for a good cause!
Last week, Tor.com announced that four of the Wild Cards novels will be available for just $2.99 each in e-book editions available in the US.. Wild Cards is the oldest, still-active original shared world setting, created by George R.R. Martin and a number of fellow authors. Detailing an alternate history where an alien virus led to mass casualties, disfigurement, and a handful of individuals with superhuman abilities, the Wild Cards universe has seen 21 novels (a 22nd due next year), comic books, and roleplaying games, while being a playground for authors as varied as Roger Zelazny, Walter Jon Williams, Carrie Vaughn, Melinda Snodgrass, and of course George R.R. Martin.
The four books that are part of the offer are the re-issue of the book that started it all, Wild Cards, and then the three novels of the “new generation” trilogy: Inside Straight, Busted Flush, and Suicide Kings. Again, to take advantage of these prices, you’ll have to be in the U.S.—Amazon members with foreign addresses will see the regular prices; possibly other stores may show the $2.99 price, depending on their policies.
The new trilogy’s a good read, while Wild Cards I is something of a classic in superhero fiction, introducing a range of memorable characters marked by an unusually realistic approach to dealing with their lives and travails.
Goodreads, the massive social book site, is running their annual Choice Awards, and wouldn’t you know it? A Dance with Dragons is on the shortlist, not just in Best Fantasy but also the overall Favorite Book of 2011 category. Many other fine works are on both lists, so checking it out (and voting!) is certainly a good idea if you want to support your favorite books of the last year.
As an aside, GRRM’s assistant Ty Franck and writer Daniel Abraham, who together write as James S.A. Corey, are also up for an award in the Best Science Fiction category with the novel Leviathan Wakes. Congratulations to the both of them—it’s well-deserved for a book that’s been quite well reviewed indeed.
During the weekend, news broke that SyFy Films (a joint venture of the SyFy Channel and Universal Studios) and had optioned theatrical and television rights to Wild Cards, the original shared-world superhero series concocted by George R.R. Martin and the Wild Cards Consortium of writers. We’ve done some digging, and we have a handful of additional details to share.
We’ve previously covered Mike the Pike Productions, who are developing George R.R. Martin‘s award-winning horror novella, “The Skin Trade” (found in Dreamsongs Volume 2, which also contains the first Dunk & Egg novella “The Hedge Knight”, set in Westeros, and many other excellent stories) for film. Now they’ve decided to ratchet up the visibility of the project by launching an official site.
The site offers hints as to the story and the production team currently in place, including noting that Filmworks FX—a post-production company that’s worked on Red Riding Hood, Knight and Day, The Tourist, and other Hollywood film projects—is on-board to handled VFX and is intimately involved at an unusually early stage in development.
Besides the official website, Mike the Pike Productions have also launched a Facebook Page—named Blackstone Manor, after a key location in the novella—which features news, updates, and the occasional query to readers. Right now, the page asks fans who they’d like to see direct The Skin Trade, and I’ve chimed in with British director Neil Marshall, who recently wrapped up filming on the penultimate episode of HBO’s Game of Thrones... and who first rose to the attention of horror fans thanks to his cult classic, Dog Soldiers.
The Hollywood Reporter exclusively reveals that Wild Cards had been optioned for development by Syfy Films—the theatrical division of the Syfy channel—and Universal Studios, with the screenplay set to be handled by there-from-the-start author Melinda Snodgrass, who (like GRRM) has TV writing experience.
An interesting interview at NY Magazine cropped up. It starts out discussing Game of Thrones—revealing for the first time that while Sean Bean may have been the first choice for Ned, the producers hedged their bets (probably due to uncertainty at the actor’s availabiity) by auditioning additional actors—but then shifts to some very interesting questions regarding A Dance with Dragons... particularly one bit in it which appears to have given Martin significant pause before he answered it. Hrm….
Well worth reading, and not just because Westeros.org and the in-progress World of Ice Fire world book are mentioned! Also, for those new to the site, this interview—and many, many others over the years—are linked at the So Spake Martin collection.
George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois have once more teamed up as editors to put together a new, themed anthology, and it’s hit shelves today!
Down These Strange Streets (US Hardcover, UK Hardcover, US Kindle) features more than a dozen authors writing urban fantasy short stories, including such notables as Carrie Vaughn, Patricia Briggs, Diana Gabaldon, and Martin’s fellow HBO-adapted author, Charlaine Harris. Other contributors include Melinda Snodgrass, M.L.N. Hanover, Simon R. Green, and Lisa Tuttle.
A complete table of contents can be found below:
We posted a couple of weeks ago about NPR asking SF/F readers to vote on a very long list (237 finalists in total) so they could narrow it down to a Top 100 Science Fiction and Fantasy titles. The results are in, and it’s a great pleasure to see that George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” series not only made the list, it went all the way to #5. Ahead of it were Frank Herbert’s Dune, Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game, Douglas Adams’s The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and at #1, what else? J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.
Congratulations to George, and to the other authors on the list, which is worth checking out (and lets give a special shoutout to Ursula K. Le Guin’s body of work, which really should have rated much higher, in our opinion… and may have done so, if only someone had thought to put the Earthsea quartet on the list!)
The Westeros network consists of several different sites, including a forum and a wiki, for all your A Song of Ice and Fire needs.